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CHESTER COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) — The West Whiteland Township Police Department is warning the public about a viral hoax from an alleged hit man. People have been receiving an email from a person posing as a hit man where they promise that they will spare the person’s life in exchange for money.

The messages have been received by email and text. They prompt the person receiving the threat to send a large amount of money to a particular email address and warns against contacting the authorities.

“There is no assassin,” police say. “Somebody found your e-mail address randomly (along with hundreds of others) and just wants your money.”

Police urge people to not panic when faced with the threat of murder received online, even if there are details of the victim’s personal information.

Personal information can be easily obtained through social media and shouldn’t be believed in an online threat, according to officials.

“Even scarier, many of these scams include the victim’s personal information, which is all too easy to access through social media,” authorities add.

Authorities advise to simply ignore the messages since responding to a message might illicit more aggressive threats. Also, police remind people that they are always welcome to contact them if concerned about threats or scams.